Tag Archives: snow white

REDHEADS ARE TROUBLE. ESPECIALLY WHEN ARMED.

24 Jun

1. Brave/Disney                                                Wknd/$   66.7            Total/$   66.7

 2. Madagascar 3/Dreamworks                      Wknd/$   20.2            Total/$ 157.6

 3. Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter         Wknd/$   16.5            Total/$   16.5

 4. Prometheus/Fox                                           Wknd/$   10.0            Total/$ 108.5

 5. Snow White & The Huntsman/U              Wknd/$     8.0            Total/$ 137.1

 6. Rock of Ages/Warners                                 Wknd/$     8.0            Total/$  28.8

 7. That’s My Boy/Sony                                     Wknd/$     7.9            Total/$  28.2

 9. MIB 3/Sony                                                   Wknd/$     5.6            Total/$ 163.3

 8. The Avengers/Disney                                  Wknd/$     7.0            Total/$ 598.3

10. Seeking A Friend…/Focus                         Wknd/$     3.8            Total/$    3.8

 

HOW ABOUT SOME COWARDICE AND AVARICE?

To no one’s surprise, Brave opens at number one and unfortunately this is not one of Pixar’s better works.  They’re never bad (no, not even Cars), but when you do something as transcendent as the first 20 minutes of Up or Wall*E the standards are much higher for you than anyone else.  And while this is better than pretty much every thing Dreamworks or Blue Sky (those horrible Ice Age movies) has ever done, by Disney standards, it’s lacking. To me, the real problem is no villain. You need some great threat to fight. It doesn’t have to be evil, as Finding Nemo proved, but some significant opposition.  What’s the issue here? Rebellious princess Merida accidentally turns her mother into a bear.  No, seriously. Not even a monster, a bear.  And she’s not even a dangerous bear, as she maintains her faculties for the most part, even continuing to wear her crown. Is the witch who provides the spell secretly evil and trying to take the kingdom like countless Disney movies?  No, she’s just wacky. Is there someone lurking who will benefit from this, like Scar in The Lion King?  Nope. Nothing will really change in the land.  Can the spell only be broken by some dangerous quest our archer princess has to embark upon, like Marlin crossing the ocean in Finding Nemo?  Nope. There’s simply no actual malice t0 be found or great task to accomplish and this results in a serious lack of drama or tension. It only kicks into gear when the king, who hates bears after losing his leg to one, starts unknowingly hunting the transformed queen as the deadline for her transformation to become permanent approaches. As always, it’s utterly gorgeous and I’m sure the hair on Merida alone took up most the computer space on the Pixar hard drives, but everyone makes pretty movies so that means nothing. Let me put it this way: when the movie is stolen by literally three little bears who are onscreen maybe five minutes, you’ve got a serious problem.

 

NEXT: THOMAS JEFFERSON, WEREWOLF SLAYER!

Speaking of lackluster animated movies, Madagascar 3 is down to number two, followed by Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter opening at number three and this is so wonderfully and gloriously ridiculous it may well be the most fun I’ve had at the movies all year.  How can you not love a movie wherein Harriet Tubman and Mary Todd Lincoln use the Underground Railroad to deliver silver bullets to the Union Soldiers at Gettysburg because Jefferson Davis has made a pact with the vampires to fight for the Confederacy.  No I’m not kidding. It’s that awesome! And it’s almost immediate as the film opens with 8-year-old Abe going to the aid of a boy who being taken away as a slave even though he’s free and the whip comes directly at the camera!  Sensitivity to African-Americans be damned! We gotta justify our inflated 3D ticket prices!  Needless to say this boy grows up to be Lincoln’s right hand as he enters politics and even onto the White House. You say there’s nothing in the history books about Abe’s black best bud?  Whitewashing, I say! Just as they hid his kung-fu axe skills.  What makes this great is that everyone plays it straight no matter how insane it gets.  No winking at the camera here as Lincoln explains the only way to stop the vampires….is to end slavery.  Again, I’m not kidding.   With no respect for history, physics, logic, the continuing sensitivity to slavery by African-Americans or a president regarded as one of our greatest this movies takes us back to a time when such crass filmmaking was commonplace: the 70’s. Whenever someone brings up that bullshit about it being Hollywood’s last creative time period, give them one word: Mandingo. Speaking of which, only thing missing from this movie is some gratuitous interracial sex with Lincoln and some slave love interest…at an orgy.  Not to mention with Mary Todd…with his hat still on. If they’d made this in the 70’s we would have gotten both.

 

NEITHER QUANTITY NOR QUALITY

Prometheus is down to number four followed by Snow White & The Huntsman at number five and having two big budget films in the top ten kinda makes this The Summer of Charlize Theron (formerly known as The Summer of Channing Tatum until GI Joe 2 was moved to next spring).  She was actually supposed to be the idiot scientist played by Noomi Rapace but was waiting on the new Road Warrior movie to begin shooting so she opted for the smaller role insisting “…it’s better to have a smaller role in a great film, rather than star in a crap one.”  Well, she failed in that endeavor as she’s starring and supporting in crap films, so it’s actually The Critically Crappy Summer of Charlize Theron, because believe it or not both films are somewhat if not extraordinarily successful.  If it seems like she’s suddenly everywhere when she was nowhere before, it’s not your imagination.  Unlike say, Nicholas Cage (who’s probably in both these movies if you look hard enough), Theron only makes on average one or two movies a year.  You’d think this would mean better films, but you’d be wrong.

 

YOU REMIND ME…HOW MUSICAL ARTISTS ALMOST ALWAYS MAKE BAD MOVIES

Rock of Ages is down to number six and honestly what the hell has happened to Mary J. Blige!?!  Why is she here!?!  When has she ever, ever been associated with rock?  Shouldn’t she have been in the upcoming (and probably disappointing) remake of Sparkle.  It’s like they wanted Tina Turner but couldn’t afford her…or she saw the stage show and said “Fuck no.”  Not to mention this is one big joke and Mary has never had the greatest sense of humor about herself or anything else.  It’s called “No More Drama” not “No More Comedy.”

 

WHY? BECAUSE HE CAN.

That’s My Boy is down to number seven and the failures of the Gossip Girl cast continue as this also stars Leighton Meester as the fiancée of Andy Samberg.  Yeah, that’s how you know it’s both a comedy and an Adam Sandler movie because goofy-looking muthafuckas get girls like her.

 

BOY’S CLUB

The Avengers is down to number eight, followed by MIB 3 at number nine and while this has made $163M domestically, it’s made more than twice that overseas meaning Hollywood probably won’t stop beating this dead horse yet.  Though how they’ll convincingly make a 4th one is beyond me as Tommy Lee Jones looks like he’s 80 in this.  It’s clearly no accident the plot keeps him off-screen in favor of Josh Brolin.  Granted, he never looked young even when he was, but all the jokes Will Smith makes about his age in this movie have a disturbing ring of truth.  Logically, his character should have assumed the job that Rip Torn had and Will Smith mentoring a new partner but that makes entirely too much sense, which is why Linda Fiorentino had to be let go.  No, I’m not letting that go. She was a great part of the first film and I’m still waiting for them to notice that.

 

MISSING 2005 ARE WE?

Finally, Seeking A Friend At The End of the World opens at number ten and since we’re talking about an average looking guy being paired with a hot girl, look no further than this and honestly that alone was enough to put me off this. Granted, they’re supposed to be friends but even as a platonic pairing it’s not something I or anyone else would like to see for that matter. And how many times is Steve Carrell going to play this role?  Didn’t he just do it last year in Crazy Stupid Love?  Does that make this Crazy Stupid Love At The End of the World?  And Keira Knightely is starting to miss Pirates of the Caribbean more than Orlando Bloom and that’s saying something.

 

THE LOVESEAT IS A LITTLE OLE PLACE WHERE WE CAN SIT TOGETHER

So, I’ve done an adult thing. I bought a couch.  I kinda had one before because my futon bed of over 15 years could be converted into one.  Then the women around me let it be known that they’d never have sex in such a thing and that it was somewhat immature (my thanks goes out to all those women who were clearly sluts because they actually did have sex with me in it).  I replaced it with a real bed, but this meant in the event I should ever have any kind of company, there was no longer any place to sit but the bed, and while that was the ultimate destination it’s somewhat tacky to start there.  So at the end of last year I began to slowly try and clear my space of clutter to allow for a small couch, probably a loveseat.  I got rid of all my CD towers and subsequently the jewel cases and put my CD’s into books.  You know, like someone of my friends have wisely been doing since Day 1.  Next came the search for a couch to fit the space and the budget.  Leather was not happening, nor was used.  Unless it’s a friend, that’s like getting a used mattress. You don’t know what the fuck was happening on it and I mean “fuck” literally.  Granted, your friends probably fuck on theirs too, but you’re already exposed to their germs.  Finally the answer to home needs came as they always do: from IKEA.  $150 would not only get me a small couch that fits the space, but it actually becomes a bed, so the next time someone visits I won’t have to awkwardly share my bed (seriously, dude, I love you, man, but we will never do that again).  Of course delivery was $100 (plus the tip for the movers) and IKEA wouldn’t have to me for two weeks.  Maybe. I looked for “Man With Van” like we used to in the old days, but they weren’t much better and then someone suggested U-Haul, which I totally forgot about in the city.  Sure enough there’s one a block away from me, so one fine Saturday afternoon, I got myself a pick up truck and headed off to Red Hook. To save money I went with three hours rather than the recommended four, which I thought I was clever until it took me an hour just to get out of the fucking city.  Seriously, what is wrong with you people who drive here?  It’s insane!  It took me no time to pick up my current Movie Buddy/Full Time Geek Girl from her place in Brooklyn to help me with it and even less time to get it from IKEA.  Getting back into the city and back up to my place was over a fucking hour. I can ride to IKEA on my bike in 45 minutes!!!  As it turns out the couch was not that heavy or large and I theoretically could have done it alone, but it was still nice to have help. I rewarded her with booze and empanadas, ‘cause I’m classy.  I put it together in less than half an hour and promptly took a nap on it to break it in.  It works.

 

PICTURES OF LILLY

So long as I’m improving my life, I signed up to take formal classes to learn how to use my camera.  Every time I think I’ve gotten better, I wind up with a bunch of incredibly shitty photos that say otherwise. You people only see the 3 or 4 good ones; not the 196 bad ones I deleted.  So, like everything I do, there was literally months of internet research to find one that fit my budget and needs. Mostly my budget because I need everything.  Real courses at places like School of Visual Arts were out of the question.  I don’t a $1,000 worth of interest in this.  Also, seminars and the like simply weren’t enough and they begin to add up.  Internet and home courses depended on my personal ability to motivate myself, so that was clearly out of the question, leaving the half-dozen or so various schools here in Manhattan (I also don’t care enough about this to go to Brooklyn either).  I narrowed it down to two and while one was reviewed better on Yelp!, it was a) more expensive, b) I missed the window to start and c) on the east side in midtown.  PhotoManhattan was left and it was a) cheaper (even moreso if you paid in advance), b) starting the next week and c) on 14th & 6th.  I’d sooner ride further downtown than closer to anything on the east side.  Real talk!  One of the complaints about the place was the cramped space so imagine how nice it was to hear the guy tell us when I walked in that this was their new space with a big open window. Score!  It’s a class of 15 people ranging from those with $1000 cameras who know nothing about them to a producer of films who just is tired of being the only guy on set who can’t take nice pictures to people like me who know a little something, but only a little.  It’s only 3 guys and I’m not sure what that says about photography, but my primary goal is to be ready the next time some guy stops me and asks if I want to go to Staten Island and take pictures of girls in a hotel room.  You’d think it’d be mostly guys for that reason alone.  The teacher is an attractive young woman from South Africa who has the patience of a saint, because two hours in that room of people flashing at me would have resulted in murder.  She laughed it off saying that she doesn’t even notice any longer—right after she calmly explained how they could take shots without blinding her.  It’s an 8-week course of the basics and the fact that I learned what the fuck white balance was the first night means I’m already happy.  In 7 more weeks I’ll be ready to start my career in softcore porn.  Oh, come on. We all knew I was headed there eventually. The miracle is I’ve resisted this long.

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IN SPACE NO ONE CAN SEE YOU’RE A MORON

10 Jun

 

1. Madagascar 3/Dreamworks                       Wknd/$   60.4           Total/$  60.4

 2. Prometheus/Fox                                           Wknd/$   50.0          Total/$  50.0

 3. Snow White & The Huntsman/U              Wknd/$   23.0          Total/$  98.5

 4. MIB 3/Sony                                                   Wknd/$   13.5           Total/$ 135.5

 5. The Avengers/Disney                                  Wknd/$   10.8           Total/$ 571.9

 6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel/Fox       Wknd/$    3.2            Total/$  31.0

 7. What To Expect When…/LGF                   Wknd/$    2.7            Total/$  35.7

 8. Dark Shadows/Warners                             Wknd/$    3.9            Total/$  70.8

 8. Battleship/Universal                                   Wknd/$    2.3            Total/$  59.8

 9. The Dictator/Paramount                            Wknd/$    2.2            Total/$  55.2

10. Moonrise Kingdom/Focus                        Wknd/$    1.6             Total/$   3.8

 

HAPPY FEET…OF DEATH

Madagascar 3 opens at number one and I checked out on this lame franchise after the first one. The penguins were great, but it’s not about them. It’s about these four boring characters whose only real purpose seems to be to give Jada Pinkett Smith some semblance of a movie career. Speaking of those penguins, it’s been a common discussion on the internet but just in case you missed it, if you remember the first film you know that the penguins took over the ship and put the humans off in lifeboats.  Well, in that part of the world there’s no way they would have survived long enough to make it to civilization, so in effect they were murdered by a bunch of crazy penguins.  Now that’s funny.

 

COMING SOON: JAMES CAMERONS PROMETHUSES!

Prometheus opens at number two and this warms my heart just a tad as I do not like Ridley Scott and flat out hate his fervent fanbase who insist that Blade Runner is the greatest science fiction film of all time. It’s not. It may be the most beautiful, but it’s cold and empty, which is typical of a Ridley Scott film. Looks great, but with a heart of ice.  I didn’t expect this to be any different and I was right.  Basically a prequel to Alien because Scott was convinced someone besides himself thought the dead alien pilot they found in the first film was interesting, the film takes two hours to explain what anyone with a brain knew: the ship was transporting eggs, one got loose and killed him.  But even Ridley Scott knew that wasn’t enough so the actual plot is on how life on earth may have been founded by that same race of aliens and an expedition is sent off to find them, led by the absolute dumbest, most deserving-to-die bunch of scientists you’ve ever seen.  Seriously, if the goal was to have a cast of people you want to see eaten, Scott succeeded beyond his wildest dreams.  There are actually two scientists who quite rationally flee any type of contact with alien life, but when they come face-to-face with it, literally stop to fucking touch it and you can imagine how that turns out for them.  I won’t even get into the scientist who’s driving this entire thing (Noomi Rapace, the original Girl With The Dragon Tattoo) doesn’t do so based on any actual science, but faith alone. Sorry, but that’s the exact opposite of a fucking scientist.  Her boyfriend, who is also supposedly a scientist, gets drunk in a petulant hissy-fit because when they arrive on the planet all they find initially are corpses.  Seriously!?!  You find proof of intelligent alien life, the exact alien life you were looking for along with their technology and you’re butt-hurt because they’re not there to have a conversation with you!?!  Somebody get this guy a face-hugger quick. The saving grace of this film is Michael Fassbender as the android David.  He carries this film on his back and honestly when the most interesting and sympathetic character onscreen isn’t even human you’ve failed.  Still, like the original android in the Alien series, he’s not quite to be trusted, but at least in his case he’s earned it as pretty much everyone on the ship treats him like utter crap.  What’s funny is that his time alone while the humans are in hypersleep is pretty much the same of that as Wall-E, except he watches Lawrence of Arabia, rather than My Fair Lady. So don’t piss off Wall-E, you fat bastards.

 

BLUDGEN-Y

Snow White & The Huntsman is down to number two giving Charlize Theron two apparently successful, yet ultimately mediocre films in the top ten wherein she plays blonde ice queens.  Alfred Hitchcock would have loved her.  She’s come a long way since her catfight with Teri Hatcher in 2 Days in the Valley, which launched her career.  Also in this movie are a who’s who of crotchety old English dudes in Bob Hoskins, Ian McShane, Ray Winstone, Toby Jones and Nick Frost…as the Seven Dwarves.  Seriously.  Only because this movie is all serious and shit, they don’t have names like Dopey and Doc because they’re warrior dwarves.  Yes, I’m still serious.  Still, they could have had names like “Killy” and “Stabby” and “Throat Slitty.”  Apparently actual little people are somewhat pissed at losing work over this and I suppose they have a point. These guys work in regular films all the time.  Not too many dwarves get cast as the CEO of a company or a police chief unless it’s a joke and even those jokes are few and far between.

 

HI, I WAS HOT FOR 15 MINUTES IN 2007

Men In Black 3 is down to number four and also in this for about five minutes is the former lead singer of The Pussycat Dolls, Nichole Scherzinger.  Yeah, no one in the audience cared either.

 

MMMM, YOU SMELL LIKE LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL

The Avengers is down to number five and they’ve started to rerun Chris Evans’s Gucci commercial from two years ago to try and catch a little heat from its billion dollar success.  Yeah, that’d be a good idea if the thing weren’t so freaking stylized you can’t tell who the fuck that is.

 

JOHN CANDY COULD NEVER MAKE IT TODAY

The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel holds at number six with What To Expect When You’re Expecting holding at number seven and Battleship down to number eight and you know who else is in this?  Freaking Turtle from entourage.  I couldn’t tell you where but that’s understandable given he’s lost about a hundred pounds and no longer looks like himself.  Jonah Hill, Seth Rogen and now Jerry Ferrara would like you to know that while it’s still better to be a fat dude than a fat girl, it’s still not good to be fat in Hollywood.  And now you know why I never made it as an actor.  More chicken fingers over here!

 

WE’RE JUST GOING TO IGNORE THE OCEAN’S 11 SEQUELS, OKAY?

The Dictator is down to number nine, followed by Moonrise Kingdom entering the top ten at number ten.  Now I do like Wes Anderson, but like so many indie filmmakers he has a tendency to be a tad too precious and whimsical for the sake of being precious and whimsical and when it works it’s amazing. Unfortunately it misses more than it hits and this looks like one big cutesy, twee, eccentric miss.  The only thing it’s missing is fucking Zoey Deschanel.  Sadly, he may sit alongside much, much, much lesser talents like Kevin Smith and Ed Burns as guys whose first films that suggested so much more, but soon stood out as actually the best they could do.  Makes you realize just how impressive Steven Soderbergh is to make sex, lies and videotape and to just keep getting better.

 

“IT’S DAGGONE ELEMENTARY THAR WATSON”

The summer TV season has kicked off and on my list was Longmire, based on a series of books by the same name.  It’s about a sheriff in Wyoming and it’s done in a very laconic, style, which I suppose, is another word for slow, but I prefer “deliberate.” It’s setting a style and mood in a Clint Eastwod kinda way and I appreciate it (while ironically hating when Eastwood does it), but I understand why others may have fallen asleep.  Longmire is a sheriff slowly beginning to crawl out the hole of grief he went into when his wife died a year previously, but it’s too little, too late for his deputy who is now running against him in the next election creating serious office tension. His other deputy is Starbuck from Battlestar Galactica, who is a former homicide detective from Philadelphia, which we learn in a clumsy piece of expository dialogue in the first five minutes.  His best friend is Lou Diamond Philips who runs the local bar and apparently will serve as his unofficial liaison to the Indian reservation where Longmire has no jurisdiction and less help since he put their police chief in prison. Basically, it’s a western wrapped around a police procedural and I’m okay with that. The pilot was bit clumsy but most are, so I’m willing to give it some time to grow.

 

JUST DON’T BLOW ANYONE ONSCREEN, HONEY

One hallmark of an indie film is the number of visible moles on the stars.  Hollywood likes people to be perfect, but in indie town we keeps it real. Sadly this is what was on my mind during Lola Versus because it’s not like what was going on onscreen was all that compelling.  I was down for a little shot-in-NYC indie romantic comedy about a girl dealing with her life after he fiancée breaks up with her, but because it’s indie I was expecting something different than what I’d find Kate Hudson doing and aside from a few raunchy moments, that simply didn’t happen.  It’s so freaking conventional I’m surprised “Suddenly I See” doesn’t appear on the soundtrack during the montage sequence (yes, there is a montage sequence where she “finally pulls it all together”).  In addition to that crap we get a dirty-talking, man-hungry female sidekick, a nice sensitive male best friend who becomes a love interest, wacky parents, funny co-workers…etc.  And aside from a few witty wisecracks here and there, does nothing to elevate or re-imagine the concepts.  Greta Gerwig is the Lola of the title, but honestly she should be called Chloe Sevigny 2.0 because that’s who she looks like, that’s who she sounds like and that’s who she acts like, but I guess since Sevigny put Vincent Gallo’s dick in her mouth onscreen people have been looking for a new one.  One advantage Sevigny definitely has is nudity, because it’s utterly stupid that Gerwig and even the guys are constantly having sex with their shirts on.  Yeah, that’s the kind of edge you expect from indie film—or Lifetime TV.

 

MIRROR, MIRROR ON THE WALL/WHO MADE THE WORST SNOW WHITE FILM OF ALL?

3 Jun

1. Snow White & The Huntsman/U            Wknd/$   56.3           Total/$  56.3

2. MIB 3/Sony                                                Wknd/$   29.3           Total/$ 112.3

3. The Avengers/Disney                               Wknd/$   20.3           Total/$ 552.7

4. Battleship/Universal                                Wknd/$    4.8            Total/$  55.1

5. The Dictator/Paramount                         Wknd/$    4.7            Total/$  50.8

6. The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel/Fox    Wknd/$    4.6            Total/$  25.5

7. What To Expect When…/LGF                Wknd/$    4.4            Total/$  30.7

8. Dark Shadows/Warners                          Wknd/$    3.9            Total/$  70.8

9. Chernobyl Diaries/Warner                      Wknd/$    3.0            Total/$   14.4

10. For Greater Glory/Arc                            Wknd/$    1.8            Total/$    1.8

YOU’RE NEXT, SLEEPING BEAUTY

Snow White & The Huntsman opens at number one, which is good because it shows that a female themed and lead action/fantasy movie can do well.  The downside is that it sucks and will drop like a rock next week resulting in the impression that a female themed and lead action/fantasy film can’t do well.  Nice production design, beautiful costumes (Academy Award Winner, Colleen Atwood), solid cast (Kristen Stewart not withstanding) and a decent premise are all ultimately wasted thanks to listless direction and a weak script.  That the Evil Queen is so because she herself was a victim of the way men treated her for her beauty is a great jumping off point, but they ultimately do nothing with it.  If you’re gonna tell a feminist Snow White story, then fucking tell a feminist Snow White story!  That there’s a scene with an entire village of women who have scarred themselves and their daughters because The Evil Queen literally sucks it out of beautiful women suggests that’s exactly what they were going to do.  Instead they wussed out because they were clearly afraid of scaring off the frank & beans in the audience.  Then there’s the abandonment of logic.  Don’t have Charlize Theron keep Kristen Stewart alive “just because.” That doesn’t make a lick of fucking sense to a kingdom you’ve taken by force. So long as a legitimate heir lives she’s a threat.  It would make more sense if The Evil Queen had kept her alive because she either needed her to convince the people she had a legitimate claim or better yet saw a kindred spirit in her and wanted to make Snow White like herself and tried to fill her with a hatred and mistrust of men.  And she would do this against the advice of the Mirror who has foretold her fate should Snow White live.  This way you have an actual multi-faceted villain instead of a flat 2D one.  Also, maybe some of her lessons actually affected Snow White so she doesn’t fully trust The Huntsman giving them a genuinely antagonistic relationship instead of the faux one they have here.  When he tells her she’s given him nothing but trouble it makes no sense as she does pretty much everything he says.  They also fail in the basic story of Snow White, in that she lives with the Dwarves for an extended period of time.  Here, the dwarves (played by a who’s who of crusty old English character actors) are warriors so it would make sense that after a few years with them and The Hunstman she’d learned to a) trust men and b) become an actual leader and warrior which she isn’t but we’re supposed to believe she has become both after just a few days, delivering perhaps the worst inspirational speech in the history of film.  I know this was rushed to compete with the other Snow White film, Mirror Mirror, but that’s still no excuse not to have seen the glaring flaws therein.

RULE#1: BLONDES RULE. RULE #2: BOOBS RULE MORE THAN BLONDES

Men In Black 3 is down to number two and this is missing the one thing from the first that managed to actually be funny in the second movie: David Cross (the pug was only funny in the first movie).  He was the morgue clerk in the first film and the video clerk in the second.  Apparently both he and Rip Torn were given the brush off for this.  Yes, Zed is also not a part of this, his character being killed off and replaced by Emma Thompson, as “OO” who is played by Alice Eve in the 1967 sequences.  If I were Emma Thompson I’d be offended if I’m supposed to be considered the same age as fucking Tommy Lee Jones, who looks a thousand here.  Granted, there’s a joke about how the job has aged his character prematurely, but she’s supposed to be in her 60’s!  Alice Eve doesn’t care because after premature announcements as the “New Hot Young Thing” this is her first hit after a number of disappointments, including She’s Out of My League, Sex & The City 2 (she was the braless nanny) and most recently The Raven.  She’s even going to be in the Star Trek sequel (thank god there’s no Moneypenny in the new Bond films or she’d probably be playing her too), so she’s clearly got the hardest working agent in show business..…or maybe if you’re blonde, pretty with a big, real rack you get more chances than others.  Nah, that couldn’t be it.

HE’S IN A LOT OF MUTHAFUCKIN’ MOVIES

The Avengers is down to number three and this isn’t the first time the cast has met one another.  Jeremy Renner was in S.W.A.T with Samuel L. Jackson and Chris Evans was in The Nanny Diaries with Scarlett Johansson.  What does this mean?  It means the Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon gets easier every day and honestly should be changed to The Six Degrees of Samuel L. Jackson and possibly reduced to Three or Four Degrees.

PROVING MY POINT

Battleship is down to number four and also in this is Tadanobu Asano, who was Hogun in Thor with Chris Hemsworth who is in The Avengers with Samuel L. Jackson?  See what I’m saying?  And Asano really doesn’t care one way or another how much this tanks in America because in Japan he’s like Johnny Depp.  Not to mention overseas this dungheap of a film is actually doing well, so it’s not hurting him in that respect either.

BEEFCAKE! BEEFCAKE!

The Dictator is down to number five, followed by The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel at number six and What To Expect When You’re Expecting at number seven and they seriously hedged their bets with this by not only stocking it with A, B and C list female stars, but every hot dude with a day off.  We have everything from the mature in Dennis Quaid to the teen thrill in Chace Crawford.  In between are Matthew Morrison from Glee, Rodrigo Santoro (who will forever be the hot guy Laura Linney didn’t get to bone in Love Always) and Joe Manganiello from True Blood.  Chris Rock is here too, but he’s one of “the dads” who’s here for comic relief because Chris Rock remains the only person who wants to see Chris Rock hook up onscreen.

WHAT OTHER EARLY 70’S CHARACTERS CAN WE RUIN?

Dark Shadows is down to number eight and once again overseas box office is making sure shit floats.  This is has made $120M internationally bringing the total to $191, making it very close to being profitable even before the home markets which is amazing, sad and ultimately horrible because it means Tim Burton and Johnny Depp will continue their love affair with make-up and eccentric characters over actual storytelling.

SPOILER ALERT!

There may be some of you strange enough to want to see the #9 movie, Chernobyl Diaries, so if that’s the case skip this paragraph….  Still here?  Okay.  Now, I read the Moviespoiler.com summary of this movie and really, who the fuck are you people who like it when the monsters kill everyone?  The only thing I want to see less than a horror movie is one where everybody dies and everybody dies in this at the hands of the flesh-eating mutants.  Who really likes that kind of darkness in their movie-going?  I need monsters to die at the end, period.  I can get bleak shit here in my real life.  I don’t need mutated Russian cannibals killing everyone onscreen when I’ve got the Russian Mob on Brighton Beach doing whatever the fuck it wants.  Now that’s scary.

VIVA LA REVOLUCION!

For Greater Glory opens at number ten and you’ll never hear about this movie again so pay attention.  This is about the Cristeros War in Mexico where the government was atheistic and actually came down on the Catholics which makes me wonder why it wasn’t called the War of Consummate Irony given how they’d done it to pretty much everyone else on the planet.  But seriously, fighting religion in a Catholic country makes about as much sense as fighting rain in a rainstorm and that it lasted even a day much less years is amazing.  Equally amazing is that this movie is even in the top ten because the last time anyone paid to see Andy Garcia, he was helping to destroy The Godfather. Since then he makes a buck getting punked by George Clooney. I can’t feel bad for him because he’s out of his mind and my tolerance for crazy people ended long ago.  Now, to see him here and actually a guest star on George Lopez’s sitcom makes me smile.  Also in this are Eva Longoria, Nestor Carbonell, Ruben Blades and every other Latin actor with a day off.  Tomorrow they’ll be back as “Latina Hottie” “White Guy’s Partner” and “Drug Kingpin.”

YOU WEAR IT WELL

So my fashion documentary viewing (Bill Cunningham’s New York, The September Issue) continues with Valentino: The Last Emperor, chronicling the 45th Anniversary and what ultimately turned out to be the last show of the famous designer.  But it’s as much about his partner, Giancarlo Giammetti who has handled the business end of the empire as well as seeing to the needs of its creative namesake.  I never knew Italians actually said “Mama mia” until hearing him sigh it for the umpteenth time after trying to reassure or placate Valentino.  Ultimately what ends Valentino’s career isn’t merely time but the changing times.  A subplot is the corporation that bought Valentino trying to inflict their will upon him, making it clearly they consider Valentino replicable at Valentino.  Giammetti explains the business was built of making and selling dresses, but no longer.  Now it’s the licensing of the name on other products that makes the money.  It’s the cache of the name from making the glamorous dresses that sells not the clothing itself and you get the definite feeling the corporate overlords were looking to have him making low-end dresses for Target, which is unthinkable for a man whose work was hand-fucking-made up until the end.  Giammetti flat out says about the president of the corporation that owns Valentino, “I like him, I consider him a friend, but what he thinks means nothing.” In the end that company sells Valentino to yet another, bigger corporation and rather than continue fighting these assholes, Valentino and Gianetti wisely decide to call it a day.  Honestly, there’s an air of sadness and finality about all the fashion movies as if an era has ended or is ending.  Fashion simply makes too much money to be left in the hands of women or those who love it for the sake of fashion.  The moneymen come in, promise support with no interference and are lying through their teeth.  Designers who know nothing about business are happy to turn it over to someone who does and then are shocked when they’re ousted because they won’t put their name on socks they didn’t make for some extra loot.  When you don’t create anything you don’t understand those who do and think they’re crazy for caring about it.  Whoa. Where’d that rant come from?  Anyway, Anna Wintour is also in this and given I’ve got two more to go, I’m hoping she’ll go 5-for-5.

ZEUS HATES US ALL

1 Apr

1. The Hunger Games/LiongsGate            Wknd/$  61.1            Total/$ 251.0

2. Wrath of the Titans/Warners                Wknd/$  34.2            Total/$   34.2

3. Mirror Mirror/Relativity                        Wknd/$  19.0             Total/$   19.0

4. 21 Jump Street/Sony                               Wknd/$  15.0             Total/$   93.1

5. The Lorax/Universal                                Wknd/$   8.0             Total/$ 189.6

6. John Carter/Disney                                  Wknd/$   2.0             Total/$   66.2

7. Salmon Fishing In The Yemen/CBS      Wknd/$   1.3              Total/$     3.2

8. Act of Valor/Relativity                              Wknd/$   1.0             Total/$   67.8

9. A Thousand Words/Paramount              Wknd/$     .9             Total/$   16.5

10.Journey 2: Mysterious Island/WB         Wknd/$     .8              Total/$  98.5

JOHNNY CAN READ BUT HE CAN’T COMPREHEND WORTH SHIT

The Hunger Games holds on to number one and if you think the success of these books along with Harry Potter and Twilight mean that people still read, think again. There’s a surprising number of morons who were upset that a characters depicted in the book as Black were actually played by a Black actors.  Now, if they could actually read (much less comprehend what they’re reading) this would not have been a problem, but like I said, people aren’t really reading if “Young Adult” novels are dominating the bestseller lists. I’m pretty sure real, grown up novels should require something above an 8th grade reading level.

SADLY, TRUTH IN ADVERTISING

Wrath of the Titans opens at number two and the very existence of this film is proof the wrath of an angry god upon those who made the first film so successful and caused a sequel.  The first was so bad it made people actually question the validity of 3D in spite of the money it made. You know how bad you have to be for that to happen?  In Hollywood?  Well, believe it or not this is even worse.  Seriously. It. Is. Bad.  I can’t remember the last time I wanted to walk out of a theater but that actually crossed my mind during Wrath of the Titans.  It commits the ultimate sin of not simply of being bad, but being boring!  You can be awful. We can have fun with awful.  But to literally put people to sleep (my stalwart companion, Geek Girl, took a nap) is unforgivable.  The first film took the classic Greek myth of Perseus and ruined it by adding on some nonsense about the downfall of the gods.  Not only do they recycle the same plot (they have to; Perseus really didn’t have more adventures) they make it even more about the end of the gods as if that were some kind of virtue.  What’s sad is that a somewhat interesting idea is lost, in that when the gods lose their power all the monsters they had imprisoned came free.  So basically this should have been 90 minutes (though it feels like hours) of Perseus killing monsters that have gotten loose.  But no, they go off into this inane and utterly uninteresting conceit on fathers and sons, like anyone in the world is in the theater to see that.  Not to mention by the first film’s own admission Zeus wasn’t much of a father.  Perseus was raised by a fisherman who was in fact killed by the gods (along with the rest of the family Perseus was raised with) so he’s got none of the attachment to Zeus that this film insists he has.  Then there’s the film’s central conceit that the gods lose their power when people pray to them, but what makes you pray faster than a bunch of monsters out running around?  There are no atheists in foxholes, the saying goes and I feel the same can be said about a village beset by a giant fire-breathing, two-heated dog.  I’m pretty sure Zeus, Apollo even fucking Dionysius (you wanna face a giant fire-breathing, tw-headed dog sober?) is getting dialed up when that happens.  Also the “big bad” in all this is the titan Cronus, the first king of the gods and father of Zeus, Hades and Poseidon.  Cronus was a god, not a monster and if they’re losing their power, where the hell is he getting his?  Especially given he has to drain Zeus to get free. And honestly, I wouldn’t be paying attention so much to plot if the action were any good.  The original Clash of the Titans in the 80’s was no great shakes, but it continues to be superior because at the very least it resulted in no crummy sequels.

WHO’S THE LEAST TALENTED DIRECTOR OF ALL?

Mirror, Mirror opens at number three and when are people going to stop giving Tarsem Singh money to make movies?  As you recall, he, Michael Bay and Zack Synder all went to film school together and while he’s most talented of the three, that’s not saying much given he shares their complete and utter disregard for a story in favor of visuals. By my count he only has one hit and that was The Cell with Jennifer Lopez  12 years ago so I’m trying to figure out why he’s now making movies with Julia Roberts now.  Granted, the failure of Immortals was only a few months ago, but his only other film was The Fall which was another display of exceptional visuals and “Script?  What script?” that no one saw.  I’m thinking Julia Roberts is doing what other superstars like Bruce Willis do in that they don’t work with strong directors on their more mainstream, “just a paycheck” projects so they don’t have anyone who can bother them while they’re making easy money.  Julia Roberts can’t fire Steven Soderbergh, but if she has a disagreement with Tarsem Singh, guess who’s going to win?  But even if someone other than Tarsem Singh had directed this I wouldn’t be seeing it because I don’t go to see Julia Roberts movies either.  She sucks. Always has, always will.  I will, however be seeing the other Snow White film, Snow White & The Hunstman, even though it doesn’t make sense that someone as beautiful as Charlize Theron would be threatened by pug-faced Kristen Stewart.  The one good thing I can say about this one is it does make sense that Lily Collins would threaten Julia Roberts.  There honestly is no comparison.

MAPLE HAS TOO MUCH PERSONALITY. MAYBE OAK.

21 Jump Street is down to number four and this is actually Channing Tatum’s second hit this year as The Vow made $169M worldwide off a budget of $30M, which means this big block of wood is about to hit superstar status.  So much for your Masters in Drama from Yale, sucker!

ALL OVER BUT THE COUNTIN’

The Lorax is down to number five, followed by John Carter at number six and thanks to overseas returns this has made its production budget back, so perhaps Disney was premature declaring it an abject failure. Granted, it’s still going to lose money, but it’s not the massive bomb it appeared to be.  Though my schadenfreude over the crap marketing and title change remains intact.

IT’S LIKE THEY DON’T WANT ME TO SEE THESE MOVIES

Salmon Fishing in the Yemen goes wide and enters the top ten at number seven and will someone please let the casting directors of Hollywood know that Ewan McGregor is no longer 30?  Trainspotting was 16 fucking years ago!  He’s fucking 40 now so why are all his leading ladies either in their 20’s?  Scarlett Johansson (The Island), Eva Green (Perfect Sense) and now here, Emily Blunt.  God forbid the other woman in this film, Kirsten Scott Thomas who is actually in her 40’s touch him.  That aside, my primarily lack of interest in this film stems from its director, Lasse Hallstrom, who makes nothing but schmaltzy treacle under the banner of a quality indie film director thanks to the masterpiece that was My Life as A Dog 20 years ago.  Clearly that was the exception to the rule as the man is so untalented he took a story about chocolate in France with Johnny Depp and Juliette Binoche (in red pumps!) as lovers and left it sexless and tasteless. The idea (from a novel of the same name) that fly fishing would build bridges between nations is a nice once, but it would take a delicate touch not to make schmaltz and they unfortunately hired the king of trite sentimentality to do it.

MO’ MONEY, NO MONEY

Act of Valor, A Thousand Words and Journey 2: Mysterious Island finish out the top ten at eight, nine and ten respectively and they all made a million dollars or less showing you how weak this weekend was in terms of box office returns.  Yeah, you can blame March Madness, but exactly who among that audience would really be at these movies anyway?